Divorce can be an emotional and painful experience for anyone. When couples decide
to split later in life, however, the stakes tend to be far greater. Since
many older couples have spent a lifetime accumulating assets and building
a life together, an eventual split can end up being a complicated ordeal.
Unfortunately, these types of situations appear to be on the rise.
According to a study out of Bowling Green State University, divorce among
U.S. adults ages 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010, with estimates
indicating that one in four divorces includes someone over 50. Experts
say longer lifespans, changing attitudes about marriage, and increased
numbers of women in the workforce are believed to be contributing to this
Preparing for Gray Divorce
While gray divorces end up dealing with many of the same challenges as
couples of any age, factors such as limited remaining working years, complex
assets, and adult children may be special areas of concern. Fortunately,
there are certain things that gray divorcees can do to plan for a possible
split and minimize the complexity of their separation.
Assemble a solid team: If you are approaching a gray divorce, be sure to consult with a knowledgeable
attorney to learn your legal options and ensure your rights are protected.
Likewise, seeking the assistance of a financial planner, mediator, and
a forensic accountant may also be beneficial to ensure all of your assets
are discovered and properly valued.
Choose where to live: A major source of conflict for older spouses surrounds who gets to keep
the family home. While it may be emotionally difficult to budge over the
family home given the memories, time, and energy you have likely put into
it over the years, staying may not make the most financial sense. It is
important you are open to alternatives and are willing to collaborate
with your spouse towards a non-confrontational, mutual arrangement.
Consider inheritances: Since children in gray divorces have oftentimes left the family home
long ago or are getting ready to leave,
child custody is rarely an issue. Instead, gray divorcees are often concerned with preserving
inheritances for their children or being able to continue to provide them
with financial support, such as paying for weddings or graduate school.
Do not forget about healthcare: Healthcare and nursing home care can be expensive during retirement.
It is important to remember that once you divorce, you will be unable
to stay on your spouse’s employer plan. Likewise, Medicare will
not be available until you reach age 65. Consider opting for long-term
care insurance to make up for the missing safety net of a spouse’s income.
Simplify Your Gray Divorce with The Badalucco Firm
Nobody wants to think about the possibility of their long-term marriage
coming to an end. With that being said, divorce may sometimes be the best
course of action to help couples push forward and ensure their separate
long-term happiness. If you are approaching a gray divorce or are already
knee-deep in the process, contact our Birmingham divorce lawyer at The
Badalucco Firm today. Having helped couples achieve amicable solutions
to their divorces for more than 10 years, we can provide the knowledgeable
and compassionate advocacy you need to help you get through this time
of transition with minimal stress.
Schedule your free 30-minute consultation
by calling our office today at (248) 467-8208.